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Police in Busia fired teargas and made numerous arrests as small-scale trades demonstrated for the second time in two weeks against allocation of plots allegedly to a certain community. The incident which took place at around 11:00 am receded only to flare up again at around 2:00 pm.

During the running battles live bullets were fired next to Busia Township Primary School and it was unclear whether it was the demonstrating traders or the police who fired the weapons.

In the melee that followed businesses, particularly those run by the migrant Somali community were shut down.

The cause of the unrest is the allegedly unfair allocation of plots next to the Busia Market to traders of Somali origin. It is claimed that the small-scale traders who initially occupied the land now demarcated for construction of permanent stalls were paying daily cess and other taxes to Busia County Government.

“We should have been given priority in this allocation,” said a hawker, adding “But Otuoma decided that we are not important as he took large amounts of money from the bigger traders.”

The rioting youth were referred to as jobless but some of them appeared to be well-off traders simply aggrieved by the decision of the Busia County Government.

As of five o’clock the youth had blocked roads leading to Marachi and Burumba estates.

Meanwhile in Odiado area angry villagers beat up a youngster to death for allegedly being part of a notorious gang of motorcycle thieves.

It is alleged that one member of the gang was arrested and presented to the police post by Bodaboda riders. The suspect named the rest of the members of his gang following thorough interogation.

A member of the gang who was also beaten up but escaped death by a whisker was admitted at Busia Referral Hospital in critical condition.

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